Chaos Attraction

Our First Town Shooting, Part Two

2019-01-11, 5:50 p.m.

I woke up that morning to find out the following:

(a) The cop had died.
(b) The shooter was no longer a threat--I found out a bit later that was code for “we found out the shooter killed himself.” He hadn’t gone very far from where the shooting had happened, apparently, and was just hiding out in some house and then ah, did the deed.
(c) They were not canceling work today for this--I wonder if they would have if the manhunt was still going on, given how much drama we had for closing last season.

Jamie drove me back to my house and I changed clothes for the day and then she dropped me off at work. My coworkers were all similarly freaked out (one said that she hadn’t gotten the notification until MIDNIGHT where she lived) and we were kind of unnerved when one came in late, though it turned out she was just having car and water issues at her house. She doesn’t live here anyway so it’s not like we thought she was shot or anything, but it was still worrisome. She is also new here (previously working in Oakland) and she was all, “yeah, we had lockdowns like, every other day over there.” She previously worked at a school that my parents wanted me to attend, and I probably would have been more into it except for about two reasons, one of them being “it’s in Oakland.” Justified, y’all.

Anyway, my old/new team all made sure we had each other’s phone numbers in the event of emergency these days. And we talked about how we really need to have bulletproof glass in our office and that whoever is up at the counter is going to die first, no question. “I just hope that someone tells my kids that I loved them,” the primary front desk person said.

And then well, we spent a lot of time reading the Internet before the onslaught of people came in, trying to find out what had gone on. (Amazingly, we didn’t get any phone calls complaining about shooters or the WarnMe not working. Usually if any cop-related incident happens we get calls for it even though uh, we are not at all the police or even police-adjacent.) I heard a lot of rumors about what happened and it turns out that they were pretty much true in the end. Though I did see some goddamned idiot comments online about people blaming this on immigration. With a white guy shooter. WTF.

As far as I have been able to ascertain, here is what went down:

(a) A 3-car accident happened and the cop, who was a rookie cop, arrived on the scene and was taking a guy’s ID when...
(b) The shooter rolled up on a bicycle with his gun and shot her a bunch of times with his semiautomatic handgun. She had on a vest but he did get her in the neck and then continued to shoot her multiple times. He also shot around errantly in the area but didn’t kill anyone else, but did shoot someone in the backpack/book and shot one fireperson’s boot. So while this was our first shooting in town, it fell short of being our first mass shooting. The way things go these days, I bet we have that one within oh, another year or so. Sigh.
(c) The shooter lived on that street and just went back to his house like nothing had happened, acting normal and coming out to watch the drama. He left a backpack behind and they tracked him to his house, where he came out with a bulletproof vest on, yelled, came back out with a gun, went back in and then shot himself. The police sent in a robot(!) and flash bang grenades to try to suss out the situation before anyone actually went in.
(e) The guy was not a student and sounds like he was probably having mental health issues since the letter he left on his bed said that the police were broadcasting ultrasonic waves at him, he had complained to the police/press/FBI about it and he couldn’t take it any more. He had gotten into some previouis police trouble and had had to surrender an AR-15 rifle to the police previously. They don’t know where he got his other guns that he used in this. ”What seems troubling is this – the note is suggestive of serious mental illness, but there was little indication before this incident that he was capable of this behavior. It is a far cry from a fight at a workplace to murdering a police officer.”
(f) They sent in police from SF, Berkeley, and even Santa Cruz(!) for this. I’m wondering if that’s more or less cops than they send in for Picnic Day every year.

I know I never met her but I feel like I saw him around town because his ah...crazy eyed photo (sorry, I have to say it) looks familiar to me. One of those downtown dudes you avoid when you see him on the street, just in case.
Interviews with her dad.

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